Waties Island Nest Count

Monday, September 5, 2011

Digging Up The Nests

Sunday was cool and sunny on the beach and we set out to conduct two inventories, Nest 9 and the newest emergence, Nest 19.  We had the exact location of the nest for #9 and it was our best outcome yet:  125 hatched egg shells and only 5 unhatched eggs.  Including the shell taken initially for the DNA project makes a total of 131 eggs laid and a 95.4% hatch success ratio.  Amanda's mom was on hand to help out along with Diane and Paulette.

Janet, Paulette and Diane

125 hatched and only 5 unhatched
In the meantime, Dave, Judy, Amanda, Valerie, Dave and Steve were looking for the egg chamber for Nest 19. This one was very tough to find - it was fairly close to the sign showing the general vicinity of where we thought the nest might be (more good luck than good management), but even so we dug for almost two hours without finding it.

Judy, Dave and Amanda start the hunt
Where is it??

So Monday morning, we asked Chris (she was on hand the morning the tracks were found) to help locate the nest.  And a very good thing too; she was able to zero in on the location after only a little bit of digging.  She dug in by hand and found a live hatchling right at the top of the nest.  Guest walker Betty did the escort duties this morning.

Trying to keep it somewhat shaded

Only two didn't make it - we used one for the DNA sample

Paulette, Betty, Bob, Chris, Dave and Barb
Again, a very good outcome with 80 hatched shells, 6 unhatched, 1 live hatchling and two dead ones.

Persistence paid off in locating this nest - thanks to everyone who helped out!


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